SOOT IN THE FLUES

Soot in the flues

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Hey Folks, it's Spring! Isn't that great? Come on, roll those engines out of the shed, get them steamed up betch a some of you have done that already. I know you're all excited and eager for the upcoming show season. Don't blame you a bitjust don't forget to contact me with the stories and going-onswe are all interested in passing any new information and all those little tidbits that make the reunions so pleasant and interesting.

I love the stories from the Well-springs of Wisdom by Ralph L. Woods and I believe you like to share them with methis one is called Positive Thinking... Some years ago two competing salesmen for shoe manufacturers arrived simultaneously in Africa to develop markets for their companies. Both men headed for the unexploited interior. After a few weeks one of the salesmen cabled his company that he was returning home on the next boat because of the lack of sales opportunities since the natives did not wear shoes.

The other salesman at about the same time sent off this terse cable to his company: 'Send quick millions of pairs of shoes all sizes, colors, styles because the natives here have no shoes.' (It's all the way you look at it, isn't it?).

And now on to the better parts of the column as we peek into the communications from the Iron Men Album Family...

HOMER D. RUFENER, Route 2, Box 157, Sardis, Ohio 43946 sends a welcome comment in his short letter: 'Your magazine is the most prized magazine in the house; next is the Gas Engine Magazine, to which I am a current subscriber. I've read the ones we have through and through countless times. The stories are very interesting, informative and sometimes, very funny. Most of all, it's entertaining! I am rather young, but can relate somehow to the stories the writers tell. The writers are one of a kind, each of them; because they are people, just like everyone else! Here's wishing you good luck, and hope the magazine will continue indefinitely!' (Thanks Homer, glad to hear those good words).

Some information on a retired locomotive that has been put to work again comes from H. J. BERNY, 209 W. Sprague, Edinburg, Texas 78539: 'I am sending some news about an old steam engine returning to work. This took place in Huntington, West Virginia. This locomotive was retired 28 years ago when diesels took over the nation's rails, but recently began hauling coal cars three days a week on the 100-mile run between Huntington and Hinton. The test runs are the final step in a locomotive-design project that government and industry officials say could make the country more energy-independent and help put unemployed miners back to work.

'There will be a 30-day test program to give the engineers the answers they need for the final designs of the ACE 3000 according to the officials of American Coal Enterprises'.

'Rowland's Lebanon, N. J. company is designing a coal-fired locomotive that it claims will meet environmental standards and be far more energy-efficient than coal-burning engines of the past'.

'Train buffs lined the tracks recently as old Engine 614, puffing proudy and showing a new coat of paint, chugged across West Virginia in its inaugural run'.

'Rowland said he anticipates that his company's new steam locomotive will cost about $1.7 million, compared with approximately $1 million for oil-burning diesels. He claimed they will cost more but the railroads will save money in the long run because they will be cheaper to operate, primarily because they will be using a fuel that is six times cheaper.'

A letter requesting help comes from DAVID SCHERGER, Route 2, Box 66A1, Rogers, Arkansas 72756: 'I am working with a Worldwide Evangelistic Crusade missionary who is setting up a steam-powered sawmill in Zaire, Africa for the purpose of building a Bible school. We are looking for the following equipment: 40-50 HP engine and boiler, 15-20 HP engine, planer, rip saw, swing type cut-off saw, cradle type buzz saw, Donkey engine and shingle saw. If you can furnish any information concerning these items I would very much appreciate it. We are not looking for unusual or collectable equipment, but just good, solid production equipment.'

ALEAS W. SIMONIS, 30 Maple Road, Rosholt, Wisconsin 54473 sends this photo of his 28.80 Case steamer. 'My brother, Davey Simo-nis bought it new in 1920 and it is in nice running order yet. I also have the separator 36'.' (Nice picture, Aleas). 'I would like to add to the column of 'Asked and Answered' in Jan-Feb I.M.A.' says ANDREW L. MICHELS, 302 Highland Avenue, Plenty wood, Montana 59254. 'Take an acetylene torch, cut the flue as close to the flue sheet as possible. Remove the end any way that will not damage the flue wheel. Remove only old flues, then replace them, then take the other and do the same. The type of expander shown is good and a good mechanic can make out. A roller type expander can be driven by a' drill with an easily constructed drive. To bead the flue take a 5/16' bolt or stock. Do not have more than 5/16' protrude from tube sheet, then go to your friendly service station and borrow or rent his air-hammer, for cutting off mufflers. Make a tool that looks like the diagram. This will make flues so tight they will never leak. There is little chance of movement or distortion of the flue sheet compared to pounding the flues with a hammer to bead them.'

THEODORE E. VOIGT, Box 1251, Kings Road, Crete, Illinois 60417, phone 748-7038, would appreciate information on a Sturdevant 15 HP vertical engine he acquired in connection with an alternative energy project. It has a 6' cylinder and 5' stroke, 400 RPM and 125 PSI steam. It is in running condition except for missing fly ball Gardner1' parts.

'Sturdevant is now a division of Westinghouse, but they tell us that this piece is too old and they have nothing in their records. Would appreciate any of the readers helping us out'.

A second letter and a picture comes from ANDREW L. MICHELS, 302 Highland Avenue, Plentywood, Montana 59254: 'The picture and story of sawmill in Nov-Dec 1984 issue prompted me to send in this photo of the first 'saw bench' used in England. It was just that. The log laid on the 'bench'. Men held the log in place and wedges were used to stop the round log on the first cut, then two men held and adjusted the log. The carriage was a rope on a roller winch cranked by an experienced hand. I think the only iron was the blade and shafts.

'Another 'saw bench' can be seen in the background. The drive belts in Europe are narrow, 4' and' thick.'

'Could someone please tell me why sawmills are run with straight belts?'

A welcome letter comes from BILL KENNEDY, Box 695, Elizabeth, West Virginia 26143: 'A big Hello from West Virginia. I sure enjoy the Iron-Men Album and I think it is time I tell you so. I have been getting your album since 1967 and enjoy it more each issue. I also shopped around at some auctions and came up with all the back issues since the Farm Magazine. I have been an avid steam collector for some time now and have met some good friends in the hobby and am looking forward to new ones in there unions to come up. I am sure looking forward to spring so that I can fire up an engine again.

'I have been blessed with two fine sons and a wife who also enjoys the hobby and traveling to the shows. My oldest son, who is two years old, already says 'Daddy Toot! Hot!' He also enjoys putting paper in the fire box for his dad. I think this is all a very fine hobby for families.'

'Over the years I have made friends all over the U. S. and want to thank all the old steam men who took an interest in me and time to explain and show me the do's and don'ts of steam.'

'Keep up the good work and the good information that comes from your magazine. I am enclosing a couple of pictures of some of my engines and family and friends who have brought me great pleasure. God Bless All!'

'Picture #1 is a 50 HP Case engine at the Dover show in Ohio, 1984. On the engine is a friend, Frank Simmons, left, and Alan Kennedy; boiler man Earl Gibson on the right. Adam Kennedy and myself, Bill, in the center. This Case performed excellently on John McDowell's power eater.'

'Picture #2 is my 21-75 Heavy Duty Baker #17555 undergoing a major face lift in 1984. This engine has always had a boiler jacket. It was removed for inspection. It was surprisingly good.'

'Picture #3 is my 19 HP Port Huron at the North Central W. V Antique Power Show 1984. She had just come off a good work-out on the club's mill. On left is Dan Ruffner, on right is Adam and Bill Kennedy. Adam is ready to take control.'

A short letter comes from EDWIN H. BREDEMEIER, Route 1, Box 13, Steinauer, Nebraska 88441: 'In Jan-Feb '85 issue, on page 13, column 3, you ask if I ever finished the job of painting the Advance Rumely shredder. No, I never did paint the shredder. I did brush off the decals and varnished them and it brightened them up. I would like to find both Advance and Rumely decals for it and that would prod me into painting it like new.

'Recently, I completed the painting of a 2-hole all wood sandwich sheller to original colors and lettering. It takes me a long time to paint things as the original. Can anyone tell me what year Sandwich changed from Wood frame rails to steel frame? All mine have wood frame rails.'

Comments and questions come in a letter from DONALD POTTER, 13324 Balfour, Huntington Woods, Michigan 48070: 'I would appreciate any information your readers can provide regarding the enclosed photo of my father, Herbert T. Potter, known as Bert to his many friends in Central Ohio, mainly Delaware County where he was involved with threshing over 60 years. During this period he was also a U. S. Mail carrier on a short rural route for 33 years. He also operated a sawmill in the winter time.

'My grandfather, Bert's father, started threshing in the area with portable steam power, progressing to the first steam traction engine depicted in the picture. I believe recalling my father's comments that it was a Gaar-Scott. My father, Bert, is the slender, baggy knees operator at the rear of the engine.'

'Incidentally, the separator is a hand-fed one; the web stacker is probably a Peerless.'

'The next engine was a 13 HP Model R Peerless, followed by a 16 HP peerless sold to and operated for a farmer Co-op, The Leonardsburg Threshing Co. An 18 HP Gaar-Scott was the last steamer Bert used for threshing, eventually progressing to a gasoline powered Huber tractor with cross mounted Super Four Engine, 40-62 HP.'

'The two Peerless engines were scrapped; unfortunately, the Model R, in excellent shape with a replacement firebox was, during World War II, patriotically sold for scrap.'

'After growing up from toddler age around steam power, I started at age 14 to operate the 18 HP Gaar-Scott. It was sold in 1953 to collector Walter E. Knapp, Monroe, Michigan. It was resold and I've lost track of it.'

'Today, to satisfy the addiction to steam power, I do volunteer work at Greenfield Village Museum, Dearborn, Michigan restoring and eventually operating a 1918 Port Huron (Longfellow) steam traction engine, (see photo) during the annual Pageant of Power and Fall Harvest Days Festivities.'

'The Pageant of Power held early summer is an excellent opportunity for buffs and restorers to exhibit, or just view literally hundreds of many different types of expertly restored, operable early engines.'

'I am seeking information about the equipment in the old photo and any other data that can be provided regarding my father's threshing rigs, including pictures or other incidents involving him.'

'My father married late and he was 44 years old when I was born, therefore his earlier years activity as a thresherman are not well known. I joined the Army Air Force shortly after Pearl Harbor and was in the Service over four years, losing track of additional time. I know he threshed with steam throughout the war and the Postal Service gave him time off during the summer to run his threshing rig. After the war, I flew an A-26 Aircraft back to the area, located where he was threshing, by the smoke column from the steamer, and 'buzzed' them. Quite a thrill!'

'I'm trying to piece together some of the family history and record it. This ambition unfortunately came later in life when forefathers are no longer available for reference. Any data will be appreciated.'

'The 3rd picture is of my whistle collection.'

'I am sending you two pictures taken at the Smithsburg Steam & Craft Show in Smithsburg, Maryland,' says J. HAROLD ECKSTINE, 111-H Hunter Hill Apts., Hagerstown, Maryland 21740.'

'The engine is a 50 HP Frick Eclipse owned by James Hessong of Smithsburg. The thresher is a 28 x 47 Frick owned by Nelson Eckstine of Route 8, Hagerstown, Maryland. Also visible is a 28 x 47 Case thresher owned by Russell Wolfinger of Route 8, Hagerstown.'

'I think that we are both old enough to be permitted a bit of reminiscence,' states CARL M. LATHROP, 108, Garfield Avenue, Madison, New Jersey 07940, in a letter to me: 'In the Jan/Feb 1982 issue of IMA, there was an article that I had written called 'The Wind on Grandpa's Knob.' It was an up-date on the status of wind power in the U. S. Ye Editor had noted in a box on page 22from material I had supplied that Atlantic Electric was offering to pay $500 to the first 100 residential customers that would install windmill generators to help supply their homes with electricity. Remember, the Arabs had not long before cut off our supply of Middle East oil and anyone that had an idea, old or new, came out of the woodwork with a proposition to be supported by, naturally, tax money.'

'I see by the paperElectric World II/'84that Atlantic Electric got only 17 customers to grabthe brass ring and only four of those made enough power to sell some back to the electric company. To Atlantic's credit though, they're keeping the program open. Looks like the far out ideas are headed back into the woodwork again. My father had an epigram that fits the occasion, 'It's the silent pig that eats the swill.' We should just keep right on digging coal and firing it under boilersthat'll keep the lights burning.'

'Now that I have that off my chest, may the good Lord keep you in the palm of his hand, the road fall away in front of you, and the wind always be at your back.My Grandfather Jamison will flip in his grave at my misquoting that old Irish wish.'

Before I sign off, I must give you a new recipe that I tasted at out last Church affairit's delicious, try it! It's called Strawberry Pretzel Saladit is a dessert. 2 cups pretzels crushed,cup oleo melted, 3 tablespoons sugar. Press into 9 x 13 pan and bake 7-10 minutes, cool. Mix well: 8oz. cream cheese, 1 cup sugar, 1 large container Kool Whip. Spread over cooled crust and let set for awhile. Then mix together and pour over cream cheese layer:1-6oz. pkg. strawberry Jello, 2-10 oz. pkgs. frozen strawberries, 2 cups boiling water, 1 small can crushed pineapple, drained. Keep in the refrigerator.

And in closing, I must leave you with some thoughts to ponderHe who has the most trouble usually has been busy making it.... Kindness is the language that the deaf can hear and the dumb can understand-.... Patience is the best remedy for most trouble... .Bye bye and please send me some letters...